I’m a mama of nine. Count ’em, NINE! And so I live on coffee and sticky kisses. But, let’s face it. I’m not Lorelei Gilmore. I can’t actually drink 12 cups of coffee in a day. But some healthier alternatives are less than inspiring. Am I right? I mean, I don’t care what anyone tells you, dandelions do not replace arabica beans. Yet, everyone knows that green tea is super good for ya. So, what’s a mama to do? Find ways to get a little extra flavor into the cuppa. Challenge accepted!
Why Drink Green Tea?
Green tea has a number of well-known health benefits. Drinking it has been shown to lower risk of heart disease, help with weight loss and even improve brain function!
Not enough of a reason? How about lowering “bad” cholesterol and high blood pressure. When my mother-in-law was fighting cancer her naturopath recommended 5 cups of green tea daily to fight cancer! Not only does green tea fight cancer, it reduces the risk of developing cancer, too!
What about the caffeine?
Many people tolerate the caffeine levels in green tea quite well. However, if you suffer from insomnia or high levels of anxiety, you might want to skip the caffeine and drink decaf.
However, all decaf is not decaffeinated equally.
There are primarily two ways to decaffeinate tea.
#1- Solvent ethyl acetate. In addition to the unnerving thought that I just used the word “solvent” when talking about food, this method also removes many of the beneficial properties of the tea. So, let’s just not go there.
#2- Carbon dioxide. This method removes the caffeine but preserves most (not all) of the beneficial properties.
The FDA, however, allows both methods to be labeled “naturally decaffeinated.” This means if you plan on utilizing a decaf green tea you will need to check with the manufacturer via their website or phone number to find out how they go about removing the caffeine. Organic teas sellers hold to a slightly higher standard. All certified organic decaf teas are made using the carbon dioxide method.
Try these three ways to enjoy green tea!
Coconut Green Tea
1 cup strongly brewed green tea
1/4 cup coconut milk
Place both the hot tea and the coconut milk in the blender. Whip for several seconds. Enjoy!
Green Tea Jello
(This recipe also boasts raw local honey and grass-fed gelatin. It’s a superfood!)
1 Tablespoon raw local honey
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup cool water
1/4 cup hot water
1 Tablespoon gelatin
Stir together honey, matcha powder, and boiling water until honey and matcha are dissolved. Set aside.
In another bowl mix together cool water and gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. This will immediately start to thicken. When dissolved, add 1/4 cup hot water. Stir until combined. Add the matcha mixture to the gelatin mixture. Stir briskly until well combined and everything is dissolved. Transfer to another individual serving dishes or cups. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Blueberry Green Tea Spritzer
1 handful frozen organic blueberries
1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
1/4 cup plain water
1/2 cup tonic water
(A note about tonic water: many brands contain high fructose corn syrup. Avoid, avoid, avoid! But, organic tonic waters sweetened with organic cane juice or organic agave nectar are available some specialty stores, health food stores, or online.)
Place the blueberries, matcha, sugar, and plain water in a blender. Pulse until whipped nicely. Place in a glass. Add tonic water. Stir gently. ENJOY!